The Hadleigh SocietyOct 2012
Newsletter Index Up Feb 2012 May 2012 Oct 2012


Tesco Submits a New Application

If you wish to object to the proposed Tesco store on the Brett Works / Riverside site

tell Babergh District Council, including the application number B/12/01052 and your name and address with your reasons for objection, either by


to, or

Complete the ‘Planning Application Comments online’ form which can be found in the planning section at or

Write to:-

Planning Department

Babergh District Council,

Corks Lane,


IP7 65J

Every objection counts.

Please send your objection to Babergh District Council by the 9th October or as soon after as possible.

Please also send copies of your objections to your local Babergh Councillor.

You may wish to consider the following aspects:

Retail need

If the proposed Tesco store would supply the missing capacity for convenience goods, Morrisons at nearly twice the size certainly does.


With Morrisons in Calais Street and the Tesco entrance in Bridge Street the north end of the High Street and Bridge Street Calais Street corner will not be able to cope with the traffic causing massive backlogs on all three roads.  Almost every route into Hadleigh is effectively single lane

Vehicle access and Safety

Difficult access to Tesco on a bend on the Bridge, particularly for HGV’s

Pollution: noise and light

Increased noise levels and pollution from increased traffic drawn into the town.

The present High Street

Vitality and viability of existing traders and small shops in the High Street that sell a fine selection of locally grown produce.

Local employment

Loss of jobs and small businesses in Hadleigh. These are not replaced by the work offered at Tesco.

The Town

The overall character of this unique town including the historic conservation area with St Mary's, The Deanery, The Guildhall, Church Close.  

River and Nature Reserve

Riverside wildlife will be harmed and the tranquillity of the Riverside Walk will be spoilt.

Public opinion

73% of the town voted against a supermarket on the Brett Work Site in the Electoral Reform Society Referendum involving every household in Hadleigh.  This has been backed up by the thousands of signatures on three petitions and the hundreds of individual letters sent to Babergh over the fourteen years that Tesco have been trying to build on that site.

A Timeline

Despite the wishes of residents being clearly known, the battle against developers to protect this unique riverside site has being going on for over 20 years.  For the last thirteen of them it has also been a battle against the District Council’s planning officers.

A number of properties in the High St have been affected by "planning blight" as potential purchasers lose interest as soon as they hear about the Tesco and planning department’s proposals.

Since 1998 there have been a number of petitions and card polls, a Town Council referendum, hundreds of letters against the development. The Town Council refuses to sell its lands for development and the District Council have voted to pursue a Compulsory Purchase Order to acquire the Town Council land for Tesco.

Councillors at the 2011 planning meeting admitted that over 90% of residents did not want the development on that site but stated that they did not count!



June 1984

Developer proposes building a supermarket on the riverside site but did not pursue after planning consent refused in 1987 on environmental grounds.

Babergh commission an independent report by Donaldson that recommended that Hadleigh could only support an increase of 650 sq metres of convenience shopping by 1996.


Proposal by District Council to allocate the riverside site in Local Plan for supermarket of 2325 sq metres with pedestrian access from High St but vehicular access from Bridge Street. Proposal rejected by Inspector on the grounds that there was no need for a store of the proposed size, its environmental damage and adverse effect on the High Street.


A large extension to a Tesco store on the edge of Ipswich (about 10 miles away) is approved by the District Council and Tesco provide £50,000 for improvements to Hadleigh’s shopping area in order to compensate for the effects on Hadleigh’s shops of the extended Tesco store.

Local Co-op obtain planning consent to double their store size. (making it about the same size as the future applications)

April 1999

Tesco team meet with the Hadleigh Society’s committee to "sell" their proposals, with all access being from the High St.

April 1999

Tesco mount public exhibition to obtain support for plans that are not yet been registered and is therefore not available to view.

Plans registered as exhibition closes. (planning application and application to demolish a building in the Conservation Area)

Summer 1999

A resident starts a "Tesco Supporters Group" membership of 300 claimed but believed to be more like 30.

Summer 1999

Hadleigh Society poll of every household shows little support for proposals with 76.8% opposed to a supermarket on the riverside site.

Sept 1999

QD Stores register an application for similar size supermarket on another site.

Summer/ Autumn 1999

Hadleigh Society collects a petition of 1650 names plus over 200 individual letters opposing the Tesco application.

Autumn 1999

Survey of shops based on Lady Cranbrook’s survey shows a number of shops likely to close if Tesco proposal goes ahead.

Oct 1999

Town Council poll shows 75% want a supermarket but only 40% were supportive of it on the riverside site whilst 73% would support the Buyright (QD) site.

Planning officers produce a very biased report supporting Tesco application & rejecting QD Stores.

Tesco submit a duplicate proposal. (In order to claim a non-determination) and modify their original application.

March 2000

District Councillors reject Tesco proposal but approve QD stores.

April 2000

Tesco appeal & QD application called in.

Oct 2000

A joint Inquiry on the two applications with the Co-op also fielding a legal team opposing both applications.

Nov 2000

After three weeks the Inspector adjourns the Inquiry as it has overrun the allocated time.

March 2001

The Inquiry resumes for another 2 weeks.

Sept 2001

The Minister rejects the appeal on the grounds that the building’s design is unsuitable, the entrance would damage the Conservation Area and on the loss of amenity to nearby residents. The QD application was refused on the grounds that it was too far from the High St shops (about 800yds) and would damage the vitality and viability of the High St.

Dec 2001

Approaches have been made, on Tesco’s behalf, to acquire options on properties in Bridge St to enable a new application based on an entrance from Bridge St (as in the 1992 attempt by Babergh to allocate the site in the Local Plan for a supermarket)

Jan 2002

Planning officers tell Councillors that the Inspector recognised that the town could support a supermarket with the loss of only a few shops and that it was only the design of the building and the problems of the entrance that concerned her.

The officers consider that the proposed Tesco site should be designated in the revised Local Plan as suitable for a supermarket. We understand that this would make it possible in the future for Babergh to compulsorily purchase land on Tesco’s behalf in order to gain access to the site, possibly via Babergh’s car park and some Town Council allotments. The entrance would still be in the Conservation Area and would require the demolition of a building.

Jan 2002

Although the Hadleigh Society has obtained copies of the planning Green Paper for all our committee members, the District Councillors have not yet seen a copy. A planning officer is preparing a summary but admits he has not read it. The planning department take the view that the consultation process is only with planning authorities, not with lower authorities or individuals.


District Councillors decide to put the Buyright site into the District Plan. Officers object to this and inform councillors, in public, that they must put in the Brett Works site, quoting PPS 6. Disputed at the District Plan inquiry but upheld by the Inspector.

Dec 2004

3.30pm Christmas Eve. Tesco submit application with access onto Bridge Street. This requires the purchase of 7 & 9 Bridge Street or part of the Town Council allotments.  Notice sent to the owners of 9 Bridge Street informing them of their application and requirement for their home. (7 Bridge Street previously purchased by Tesco).  17 Bridge Street now owned by Co-op, 9 Bridge Street have an agreement only to sell to Co-op.


Tesco hold public exhibition of their new application whilst previous application still stands, not determined. Tesco team meet Councillors and others, plus the public. They show artists' impressions and a model but there is no plan of the access on to Bridge Street, nor are there measurements of the building or contour lines.

The Town Council refuse to meet with Tesco to discuss the sale of their land and vote not to discuss the sale of their land until the plans have been formally submitted, and they can view the real plans as opposed to artists' impressions.  Babergh District Council attempt to ‘blackmail’ the Town Council into selling their land and putting the money into the swimming pool funds, i.e. no sale, no new pool, also inferring that the Town Council will be neglectful if they force Babergh to compulsory purchase the land.

Nov 2005

Application still not submitted.  Babergh's blackmail of the Town Council continued.

Feb 2008

Another full application submitted, the access to be through the Town Council allotments and Babergh car park. Bridge House to be pulled down.

June 2008 to Dec 2010

Various submissions and re-submissions.

July 2011

Planning meeting eventually held in July. Three parts to application: a. The development of the supermarket and access,

b. the demolition and re-positioning of Bridge House and removal of part of the bridge wall.

Items b and c were taken first and both passed. Item a was defeated by one vote, but although councillors wanted to cite access and retail as reasons for refusal, the planning officer and solicitor would only permit building design to be cited as a reason for refusal.